Collection de l'Art Brut
Since 1976, Lausanne has represented the capital of Art Brut [Outsider Art]. Unique in the world long before similar institutions cropped up in Europe and the USA, the Collection de l’Art Brut remains the "parent institution" and THE reference for art on the fringes.
In fact, the Collection's core comes from the “inventor” of Art Brut himself, the French artist Jean Dubuffet: he was the first to recognize the artistic worth of spontaneous and non-mainstream creations, which he discovered in asylums and prisons, or being created by spiritualists, outsiders and other one-off individuals.
Travelling inner distances
Bearing in mind that, beginning in 1945, it was in Switzerland—particularly in the French-speaking part—that Dubuffet had encountered so many both exceptional artists and open-minded psychiatrists, it stands to reason that it was to Lausanne that he chose to offer the 5000 pieces comprising his collection: works by Wölfli, Aloïse, Chaissac, Madge Gill, Carlo, Augustin Lesage, and more.
These are housed in the Château de Beaulieu, an 18th-century mansion whose interior is painted in black, inciting visitors to immerse themselves in the “familiar strangeness” of these inner distances that dissident art travels so freely.
Michel Thévoz, the Collection's first curator and Dubuffet’s heir, immediately gave the museum an international profile. In 2001, Lucienne Peiry—author of a thesis on the Collection de l’Art Brut—took over from him; she pursued an active and highly committed policy on behalf of thematic or monographic shows, publications and film productions. Sarah Lombardi, in turn named director in 2013, has continued to enhance the museum collections through thematic exhibitions (today the museum holdings comprise 60,000 works), while pursuing the ongoing discovery of new creators.
The double life of Outsider Art
Today, Outsider Art leads a double life. Having been rendered official and introduced on the art market, it has become scarce and is no longer rooted in asylums. It is, however, resurfacing on the fringes of our high-achieving and competitive society, thus generating new outsiders who come up with fresh and inventive contributions.
Collection de l'Art Brut
Avenue des Bergières
Phone +41 21 315 25 70
Fax +41 21 315 25 71
Du mardi au dimanche de 11h00 à 18h00, y compris les jours fériés, ainsi que les lundis de Pâques et de Pentecôte.
Ouvert le lundi en juillet et août
Premier samedi du mois, entrée gratuite.
tl 2, 3, 21: Beaulieu-Jomini